Ryuichi Sakamoto has been diagnosed with rectal cancer

The Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto

This is Sakamoto’s second battle with cancer.

Ryuichi Sakamoto has revealed today (21 January) that he’s been diagnosed with rectal cancer. In a new post published on his website, Sakamoto said the news was “disheartening” but told fans he’s undergone successful surgery for the cancer and is now undergoing treatment. This is Sakamoto’s second battle with the disease. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 but has since gone into remission.

“Amid the overwhelming hardships that the medical institutions and healthcare workers face during this unprecedented pandemic, the sincerity with which everyone involved cares for their patients is nothing short of admirable. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude,” Sakamoto wrote.

“Due to these circumstances, travelling long distances for work will be difficult. Still, I will continue to work as much as I can while in treatment. There may be instances where I have to cancel work. I sincerely apologise for any inconveniences this may cause to those who are involved in ongoing projects.” [sic]

“From now on, I will be living alongside cancer,” he said. “But, I am hoping to make music for a little while longer.”

The pioneering composer released his score for Luca Guadagnino’s short film The Staggering Girl last year. In 2019, he scored the Black Mirror episode Smithereens, and teamed up with frequent collaborator Alva Noto for the live album TWO. His last full-length solo album is 2017’s async.

Read: A Guide to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Cinematic Storytelling Through Sound.